Kendal 2014

Improvised Comic/Graphic Novel at Kendal's LICAF 18 Oct 2014

Where to find us on the day - address and map!

UPDATE: In addition to the animal balloon debates, slow-motion talking hat event, conclusive resolution of the secrets to life and the usual stuff that happens at these kind of events, there will be tea and cakes *. Yes, CAKE. Not a dream sequence, alternate universe, or figment of a deranged hypnotist's attempts to take over your salt mine, but real, honest to goodness cake. It tells us it's honest, anyway, but then a lying cake would say that too, wouldn't it? Maybe we ought to do that lining two slices up and asking them what the other one would say sort of thing?

* at least until we run out!

A summary in words for the Quick & Busy

The 2nd Lakes International Comic Art Festival (LICAF) is being held on 17-19 October 2014, in the town of Kendal, in the Lake District (that's England, UK, for our international readers).

I'm creating a graphic novel, using a lot of photo-reference material and digitally manipulated photographs.

I will be in Kendal during LICAF, with members of Kendal Community Theatre, costumes, and props, and local phtographersincluding th talented Paul Want, inviting members of the public to take part in our photo shoots, on Saturday 18 October. Cosplayers and everyone else equally welcome.

I have a set of themes in mind, but would like to improvise the process, and the eventual story, based on who turns up and the footage that I record.

The finished work won't be ready by the end of the day, it'll take several months, maybe even a year, to get to that point. I'll blog the process as I'm going, and release some sections online as I go along.

What's it all about, then?

Phew, you're asking the big one there, guvnor. I dunno. Life, death, yeah - what's it all about, eh? Take a better man than me to... Oh, you mean the story I'll be writing? Well, topics likely to make it into the final work may (or may not) include:

  • a history of suppressed information, encryption and secret codes, and computer viruses
  • animals being tried in human courts
  • the "Nail House" phenomenon in China, and similar situations worldwide - and where the line between tenacity and stubborn-ness lies for each of us
  • the role played by incidental or minor figures in major historical events
  • the ways we deceive others, and ourselves, by the mismatch between our words and thoughts/deeds/beliefs. The information that we "leak"
  • astronomy, our changing understanding of the universe, and the possibility of life on other planets
Sections of the story will be set in different periods and settings, real & imagined, past, present & future. It won't be straight-up science fiction or fantasy, and it might even mix documentary and fictional writing styles.

I'm a big believer in setting constraints in order to free up creativity. (A few years ago, I ran a contest on a comic creatives' forum to write a one-page, nine panel script that told the entire story of someone's life, and got back an amazing variety of results.) The key constraints that I'm setting myself here are:
  • every page is divided horizontally in two, with visually rich, non-representational artwork on the top half, offset by "talking heads" on the bottom half
  • the talking head should be a single character (with a troupe of actors at my disposal, I can feel myself wanting to break this rule and introduce dialogues and group scenes - rules are there to be broken!)
The primary aim of the event at LICAF is to get a lot of footage for the lower half of the story, from a wide range of people with different appearances, mannerisms, etc.

In Pictures

All sounds a bit heavy? Let me explain it another way... (click pictures for a larger view)

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